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Us 10, Gary 9, James Holmes 8, Colorado 6, Holmes 6, Assad 4, Syria 4, Micayla 4, Cnn 3, Nick Valencia 2, Alex Sullivan 2, Sullivan 2, Poppy 2, Micayla Medek 2, U.n. 2, California 2, Milwaukee 2, Aurora 2, China 2, Ha Ha 2,
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  CNN    CNN Newsroom    News/Business. Latest on the day's top news stories  
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    July 21, 2012
    4:00 - 4:30am PDT  

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i tell mike what i can spend. i do my best to make that work. we're driving safely. and sue saved money on brakes. now that's personal pricing. good morning, everyone. i'm gary tuchman in for randi caye. it's 5:00 in the aurora, colorado. for those of you just joining us, i would like to quickly get you up to speed. we're learning more about the victims in the shooting. this is one of the victims, 23-year-old micayla medek.
and alex sullivan. this is miss he facebook page. just moments ago we learned another name, matt mcquinn. we will learn about them all in a couple of minutes. ♪ this was the scene last night in front of the theater where the shooting took place. we now know the bodies of the victims have all been removed from the theater. it took hours for police to clear the scene. finally, the suspect, james holmes, he is in police custody. we expect to see him for the first time monday for his first court appearance. let's stay on the suspect for right now. investigators are still waiting to get into his apartment. looking through the window they found an arsenal and they found booby-traps. our poppy harlow is at the complex. poppy, good morning to you. how long will it be until police can get into the apartment? do we know?
>> we now have an answer to that. this just coming into nick valencia. frank is with the aurora police department, gary. he tells us that the fire department here, along with atf, will be returning to the residence of james holmes, right behind my right shoulder here, at around 7:00 a.m. local time. that's two hours from now, in colorado. it's not clear whether they're going to be allowed or plan to go into the apartment but they will come back here on scene. we will certainly be trying to talk to them. the reason with he don't know whether they will go in or not is because of how vexing, perplexing a situation this is. as i look at the apartment of james holmes, it is lit up with sort of an orange glo. there are many questions about what is in there, how intense these booby-traps are, whether there are indeed explosives as james holmes, the suspected shooter told police yesterday when he was arrested. take a listen to the police
chief dan oates talking about the situation. >> it is a very vexing problem how to enter that apartment safely. i personally have never seen anything like what the pictures show us is in there. i'm a layman when it comes to bomb stuff. i see an awful lot of wires, trip wires, jars full of ammunition, jars full of liquid. some things that look like mortar rounds. we have a lot of challenges to get in there safely. >> and, gary, the way that they're seeing these pictures, is it they actually sent in robots on friday yesterday to assess the situation, take pictures of what was in the apartment and the bomb disposal went through that video that the robots were able to capture to see how bad it was and what they're dealing with here. >> poppy, i don't know why holmes told police about the booby-traps.
but i know if he would have died during all of this it's likely more people would have died going into his apartment because they wouldn't have known about this. now, are the explosives experts bringing in extra resources to help with the apartment search? do you know that? >> they absolutely are. what we're hearing is that the federal government is sending people and resources to assess the situation, to help as much as they can. it's just so odd and unusual what happened. there was techno music blaring out of the apartment. listen to a neighbor who was describing what she was dealing with at the time. >> i like kicked it and i was banging, wailing on the door. i was mad. that's how i am. if somebody is going to be disturbing something i will tell them. i never imaginedomething like this. i mean, who does? >> no one would imagine something like this. gary, as i told you earlier,
this building and the five around it were evacuated. it's right across the street from the university medical school where holmes attended. a lot of people in this building that had been evacuated were medical students and students studying health sciences. so you can suspect a lot of young people as well are trying to figure out what the future of their homes will be. 7:00 local time two hours from now atf will be on scene and we will have more information for you then. >> it is a tense, stressful morning for us. you will be reporting it. thank you very much. that is the story for now from james holmes's apartment building. investigators seem no closer to know why all this went down. i want to show you this eerie picture, the gas mask we believe was worn by holmes as he carried out the attack. drew griffin has more on the suspect and what we have learned about him so far. gary, in cases like this, so
many that you and i have reported in the past we look for youtube rants, facebook postings, theous things. court cases, arrest records, old girlfriends who might have something to say about the suspect. but in the case of this man, james holmes, there is nothing so far emerging that would point to anything as to why he would do this. he had been living not far from this movie theater for the the past year because it was also close to the university of colorado medical school where holmes was a graduate student in neurosciences. he was in the process of withdrawing as a student last month. the school frankly won't tell us much about his grades, the classes he took or anything else. we do know he did give a student lecture this past march on microrna biomarkers. it's about an emerging area of neuroscience, relating to cancer research. and the school says holmes worked in a paid position there as well.
but no details. before that it was a middle upper class upbringing in california. high school in san diego, undergraduate degree from the university of california in riverside in 2010. school administrators there said he had an outstanding academic record. >> here's an honor student. so academically he was at the top of the top. you know, he really distinguished himself from an academic point of view his four years with us, graduating with highest honors. >> how is this ph.d. candidate, this budding neuroscientist suddenly becoming a completely different person dressed and, according to police, armed to kill. >> the suspect was dressed all in black. he was wearing a ballistic helmet, a tactical ballistic vest, ballistic leggings, a throw protector and groin protector and gas mask and black tactical gloves.
>> was the person delusional? was there mental illness involved? as we try to piece this together i want to share with you what new york city police commissioner ray kelly released on what he learned of the suspect that may have a tie to the actual movie. >> we have some information. most of it is public. clearly looks like a deranged individual. he had his hair painted red. he said he was the joker. >> gary, this is the third time i've been sent by cnn to a shooting almost exactly like this. the shooting at virginia tech, the shooting in arizona of congresswoman gabby giffords. young men, college age, going to college, secretly plotting and planning and carrying out these massacres. and right now we just don't have any answers as to why it happened. fare? >> drew, thank you very much. drew brings up a good point. it's so depressing seeing these things repeat themselves over
and over and over again. let's remember the victims, the 12 people who lost their lives and 58 others wounded. nick valencia has some new information. a fourth victim has been identified. nick? >> yes, gary, that's right. this morning new information into the cnn newsroom. this attributed to the dayton daily news. we're finding out the names of one of the 12 that perish said at the guns of james holmes. matt mcquinn was killed, one of the 12 killed there on early friday morning in aurora, co co. his family, like many others of the victims, agonized for hours to find out that he was dead. he died while covering his girlfriend, gary, while shielding her from the bullets at the hands of james holmes. in fact, if you can believe this, the hospital wouldn't confirm his condition to his girlfriend because they are not related. another one of the victims of the four that we have -- that we're hearing among the list of the dead, alex sullivan, who planned to reign in his 27th
birthday on friday with that movie the dark knight. he perished. he also planned to celebrate his first year wedding anniversary on sunday. sullivan's uncle describes him as funny, witty, smart, loving with a big heart. you can tell in those photos with his wife. sullivan family released a statement saying the sullivan family lost a cherished member of their family today. alex was smart, funny and above all loved dealer by his friends and family. they said today, friday, was his 27th birthday. and micayla medek, 23, is described as being funny, outgoing and very spiritual, very tied to god. her family took 19 hours to find out whether is she was dead or alive. they learned of her fate late friday night. cnn confirmed that early this morning. and jessica ghawi, the face of this shooting here, her brother jordan has been very active on
social media. she was an aspiring sportscaster, somebody who no doubt would have had a tremendous impact on the field. she was shot in the leg, according to a witness and then shot in the head. the fatal shot took her life. she moved from denver to texas to pursue her dream of becoming a sportscaster. she was also a survivor of the recent mall shooting, gary, if you remember in toronto. it's incredible. her mom spoke to a local affiliate ksat. >> i'll never have her to hug again or get a text message again or get a funny facebook picture. that's the hard part right now. just knowing those are things that i'm never going to get to experience again. i was blessed only for 25 years, but i was blessed. >> just a tearful remembrance from her mother. just a tragic situation for all
involved. of course, gary, cnn is making calls this morning. we have our national desk on assignment here. and we will update you with more victims. a 4-month-old. and pentagon releasing a statement saying four servicemen, two sailors and two airmen wounded in the incident, one of which is still unaccounted for. >> once again, the suspect in all of these shootings, james holmes. what's so tragic, not only are they losing their loved ones but they had to wait hours and hours and hours to find out. just unbelievably difficult to comprehend. >> sit heartbreaking. >> nick valencia, thank you. one man, three deadly minutes. that's all it took to kill 12 people and injure more than 50 others. i'll speak with a firearms expert about just how powerful those guns were.
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one of the victims was 23-year-old micayla medek. it took 19 hours before month law enforcement confirmed to mica mica micayla's family she was dead. i want to tell you how grateful we are that you're talking. tell me how your family is coping right now. >> not good. we're just taking it minute by minute. we just wish we could be out there with my brother right now. we're trying to arrange -- sorry. we're trying to put some stuff together to get my family, micayla's 81-year-old grandmother is in the milwaukee area. we want to get us all together and maybe rent a van, get out
there to be with my brother. she was a great kid. she was just finding herself. she would never find anybody. she didn't deserve to die this way. >> jenny, everyone in this building andll our viewers feel so terrible for you and your families and the families of the other victims. i think what made it so much harder, unfortunately this is a necessity. we see this in the tragedies that we cover is sometimes the authorities don't let you know right away. >> right. >> that your loved one was killed. because they want to be definitive. but it's very painful. and i want to know, 19 hours. this just must have been so excruciating for your family yesterday. >> it was terrible. my brother got the call at 1:00 in the morning from micayla's friend saying she had been shot. i don't remember i don't know what time it was in colorado. but here in milwaukee it was 11:00 in the evening by the time we got the story she was one of the dead laying in the theater.
and the thought of her laying there for almost 20 hours -- he was beside himself. he was such a good dad. they were so close. such a great daughter. never gave any problems. >> jenny, you are her dad's sister. i just -- >> yes. >> that's how you know so well -- >> my brother comes from a family of 11 kids. so he was one of the younger. i'm one of the older. you know, we're a pretty darned close-knit family. something like this normally tears people apart. i think it's bringing us closer. but i just can't even imagine. i have five kids of my own. i can't imagine losing one of them. and he has two daughters. this is his baby. >> no parent can imagine something like that, jenny. you're talking to me about being close. tell me about the kind of young
woman she was. >> she was just a free spirit. she was a happy person. she never criticized people. you know, she was just worki at a subway trying to find her way. she was just a great kid. she has a very loving sister. they were very close. amanda searched all day yesterday hospital to hospital looking for her. just devastated not finding out any news. and i don't know what else to say about her other than she's going to be really missed. senseless, senseless crime. i fe for the people of the shooter. i can't imagine what they're going through at this time. just let them know we don't blame them for his actions. and my heart goes out to the mom and dad of that family too.
>> tell me, jenny, how micayla's father is doing right now in your opinion? >> i haven't talked to him since last night. it was hard for him to talk to anybody. he's having a hard time with it. he has a strong faith, and this has really shaken him. to get a call at 1:00 in the morning and you're on the edge of your seat for 20 hours waiting and waiting and waiting and not knowing. he held out hope until the very end. >> jenny, did you know or did her father know or did anyone know she was at the movies. >> yes. her father talked to her before that and she updated her facebook page at 8:00 in the evening saying she was going to this movie with i think there was about 10 friends. it was a nice group of friends. they all were very concerned
that everybody was accounted for except micayla. she kept the family informed. they knew she was shot and that she went down. and the way my brother explained is they ushered them out saying you can't help her now, like they were going to get help. but i'm guessing she was too critical. i don't know any details about, you know, where she was shot or anything. but i'm hoping she didn't suffer too long because she didn't deserve this. >> micayla is a beautiful name and you have told us about a beautiful young woman. you have done it very well. and i will tell you, jenny, it's a tribute to your niece that you have spoken to us and let the whole world know about your niece micayla. i wish you and your entire family, all of us here at cnn, wish the absolute best. >> i can't wait to get off to colorado to be with my brother. >> we will be thinking about you. thank you for talking with us.
>> thank you. >> the aunt of micayla medek, one of the four victims whose name is publicized. >> one eyewitness says there was a pattern. he was spraying bullets like a sprinkler sprays water. we'll talk to that witness later this hour. a dead man walking. that's what a retired military general has to say about syria's president assad. he doesn't stop there. major general james spider marks joins me in just minutes.
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♪ more on the movie theater rampage in colorado shortly. but first to syria. there's word syrian forces have launched an all-out assault on strongholds in the capital damascus after an incredibly violent week. opposition activists say more than 16,000 people have been killed since the crisis began more than a year ago. nearly 1,000 last week alone. retired major general james" spider" marks joins me now. thanks for joining me. why are we seeing a spike in violence? is it a sign that assad's power is teetering? >> it is. violence is like water. it will flow down the path of least resistance. that's clearly what you see. the opposition has momentum. it has arms. it has a capability.
it has found a weakness in assad's regime not only in terms of its military but also the -- what i would call the head of his advisory bodies, those defense minister, national security adviser equivalents. and the fact that they could pen straight that tight-knit group, set off an explosion and kill a number of those folks indicates that assad truly is on his way out right now. >> general, the violence comes after the u.n. security council tried to slap new sanctions on syria but failed. syria's allies and permanent security council members china and srurussia, they keep saying. why do they continue to go against the u.n. security council? will they be able to do anything as long as russia and china continue to veto sanctions? what do you say about that, general? >> the united nations has been able to do something. frankly, it's minimal and essentially